Apollo Bay views split over resort

An artist’s impression of the proposed new resort and conference centre just outside Apollo Bay.

A $70-million Apollo Bay resort proposal has the support of the town’s business group but a community group looks likely to oppose the development despite potential benefits for the coastal community.

Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce president John Gorman said access to the site from Barham River Road was among the chamber’s concerns but the group was generally “very supportive” of the proposal, which could generate 250 construction jobs and 175 ongoing jobs.

But Otway Forum president Peter Fillmore said a public meeting hosted by the forum this week attracted more than 100 people and he said that the developer should know “that a proposal of this size in such a small town would cause a lot concern within a tight-knit community”.

Mr Fillmore said he had multiple concerns including the location, where workers would come from, the sale of the land, sewerage and power supplies, flooding, rising sea levels and a proposed hotel within the resort.

“Planning for Apollo Bay has been based on 20 new houses being built each year; the resort, if ever built, would have the capacity to double Apollo Bay’s current population,” he said.

“For many years rental accommodation, particularly for low-paid service industry workers has been in very short supply,” Mr Fillmore said.

But developer Graham Duff, of Oceans United Investments Group, said he had already addressed a majority of concerns including the difference between a pub and a residential hotel.

“Our resort residential hotel falls within the current permitted use of the land,” Mr Duff said.

“As a part of our planning application our water, sewer and power consultants have worked with Barwon Water and Powercor to ensure the supply is adequate.

“One corner of the site may in certain circumstances be subject to the flooding of the Barham River; we acknowledge that if we use this access then the road may be impassable for relatively short periods,” he said.

“It is the vision for this 4.5-star resort project to showcase not only Australia but this region of south-west Victoria in particular by providing 4.5-star accommodation for visitors, accommodation that is sorely lacking in the region.”

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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